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Report: Cruz internal polls showed him leading O’Rourke by double digits — until Trump showed up

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What more fitting end could there have been to Cruz’s political career than Trump blowing into town and fumbling away a reelection bid for him that was in the bag? Between that and the 2016 primaries, it would have been Shakespearean tragedy.

Well, Shakespearean comedy, at least.

I don’t buy that the big rally with Trump in late October cost him anything. And if it did, it was negligible.

Kavanaugh’s eventual confirmation, which came amid sexual assault allegations, energized red-state Republicans and helped give Cruz a desperately needed boost against O’Rourke, with Cruz’s lead in his campaign’s internal polling climbing into the low teens by the time they met for their Oct. 16 debate in San Antonio

The early voting period kicked off Oct. 22 with Trump’s rally for Cruz, which was held at the Toyota Center in Houston. Trump’s campaign claimed over 100,000 people requested tickets for the event, and local news showed long lines of people waiting to get into the 18,000-seat arena hours in advance.

But if Cruz was looking for a boost from his former rival, the opposite appeared to happen. Before Trump’s visit, Cruz’s internal numbers had him leading by double digits statewide. In the days after, his lead dropped to 5 points.

From double digits to five points in a week, with POTUS’s visit the most noteworthy event in the interim. Quite an impact, and it brings the total number of possible explanations for Betomania! up to four:

1. The progressive explanation: Everyone loves unvarnished progressivism, even/especially Texans! Beto gave it to ’em in its purest form.

2. The Obama 2.0 explanation: Progressivism was the garnish. Beto was a phenomenon because he married personal charisma to appealing hopey-changey kumbaya blather.

3. The anti-Cruz explanation: Beto was a good candidate and Cruz is a flawed one at best. He’s not all that likable, he’s viewed suspiciously by both centrist Republicans and Trumpers, and his personal brand of Reagan-esque conservatism is outdated, to put it mildly.

4. The new one, the anti-Trump explanation: Democrats hate POTUS and Texans generally aren’t all that wild about him. Having him show up in the state to campaign was like waving a red cape before a bull. It woke up the anti-Trumpers. Here’s what I wrote on August 31, the day the Cruz/Trump rally was announced.

Will the Trumps stumping for Cruz do more to turn out Texas Republicans or Texas Democrats? If you assume that Texas Dems are already as motivated as they can be by Betomania, then it makes sense as a turnout motivator on the right. If you believe, however, that a meaningful number of centrists are open to voting Cruz but are leery of POTUS, then maybe it backfires. Cruz is calculating that there aren’t a meaningful number — which is probably true.

Emphasis on “probably.” Trump’s numbers in Texas have never been stellar despite its reputation as a Republican stronghold. The last poll of his approval taken by UT-Austin had him at 48/45. The last time Quinnipiac polled Texas it was 51/46. According to CNN’s exit poll of Texans on Tuesday, among those who showed up to vote it was … 49/49. Cruz ended up winning the race 51/48. If the last few jobs reports hadn’t been as strong as they were, if Trump had indulged his instincts and fired Mueller at some point this summer, who’d be the Senator-elect from Texas today?

But wait. The theory in the story quoted above is that Cruz’s polls suddenly took a turn after the rally with Trump on October 22nd, right? Well, here’s the last two months of public polling in Texas via RCP:

Both candidates saw their support climb after the Kavanaughpocalypse during the first week of October, although Cruz’s climbed more steeply — and then never let up, steady all the way through the rally with Trump to Election Day. His final total of 51.3 percent in RCP’s average almost perfectly predicted his final share of the vote on Tuesday, 50.8 percent. Beto’s polling didn’t begin to inch up until the very end of October, a week after the Trump rally, which is more easily explained as late deciders opting for the ultra-hyped challenger than as a direct reaction to Trump’s visit.

Alternate theory, then: Cruz’s double-digit lead over Beto in mid-October was nothing more than a local backlash to the Kavanaugh wars that was destined to fade. Here’s a list of public polling of Texas from FiveThirtyEight in reverse chronological order. Note the dates of each one, and the margins.

Follow the last link if you like and scroll through FiveThirtyEight’s entire set of Texas polling. Dating back into July, Cruz’s lead was frequently in the four-point range. As you can see, as of the beginning of October, it was still four points or so. Then came Kavanaugh and suddenly several polls showed him bouncing out to leads of eight or nine. By October 21st, though — the day before the Trump rally — he was already polling again in the four-point range. As enticing as it is for Trump skeptics (a group which I’m sure includes many a Cruz advisor) to pin Cruz’s downturn on Trump, the more prosaic explanation is likely the correct one: Cruz never had much of a lead in Texas. He was reliably ahead the whole way because it’s still a reddish state but his lead only briefly touched landslide margins after the Kavanaugh fiasco momentarily pushed some voters away from O’Rourke. The backlash faded and in the end the four-point status quo prevailed, with a slightly tighter margin than expected probably due to last-minute voters opting for Beto. Trump may well have hurt Cruz but almost certainly not because of one rally. It was 20 months of Trumpiness that had already been priced into voters’ choices that helped turbo-charge the Beto juggernaut.

One more bit from the Texas Tribune story quoted above. I’ve written several times since Tuesday about pundits bickering over why O’Rourke fell just short. Would he have won if he had run a more centrist campaign, possibly attracting more votes from moderate Republicans? Or would he have actually lost votes on balance that way, since some progressives who were thrilled to see Beto run as a true-blue liberal would have given up on him if he’d started pandering to the right? The Texas Tribune notes that Beto actually did reach out to Republicans — sort of:

Another case that Cruz’s advisers made in the wake of the election: O’Rourke never challenged them for GOP voters in a serious way. On that point, the record is less than straightforward: O’Rourke broadly appealed to Republicans through his 254-county blitz of the state, visiting GOP strongholds long neglected by Democrats and talking about issues he believed united both parties.

“He consciously went for everybody,” [O’Rourke chief of staff David] Wysong said. “It was a substantial part of his stump speech, but he also said what he believed. I think he was being honest to who he is. I think the way this was done was more of him just being honest and transparent about what he believes than, ‘Oh wait, here was this little group I need to talk to in this way to get them excited.’”

He wouldn’t take centrist positions to pander to Republicans but he would show up in their neighborhoods to ask for their votes, believing that some soft righties might prefer a friendly liberal who stands up for his beliefs to a more obviously calculating politician like Cruz. There’s no way to resolve whether that approach netted him more votes than he would have gotten if he’d been willing to pander more on the issues. But here’s a notable county-level result from Tuesday’s Texas results:

O’Rourke very narrowly won the Republican stronghold of Tarrant County, which encompasses Ft. Worth. It was rural voters who pushed Cruz over the top. Even some major red cities went for Beto.

According to CNN, he met with his senior aides on Wednesday to discuss the future. One source claims that he’s had “very initial discussions” with O’Rourke about what a 2020 presidential campaign might look like. Exit quotation via Jeff Roe, Cruz’s chief strategist: “He used a fog machine at his concession speech. He ain’t done.”

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Mexican Protesters Scream at Illegal Immigrants: “Donald Trump Was Right! This Is an Invasion” (VIDEO)

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They don’t like being invaded either.

MEXICAN PROTESTERS WAVING MEXICAN FLAGS CONFRONTED ILLEGAL ALIENS IN TIJUANA AGAIN ON SUNDAY–

During the protest today one protester screamed at the illegal migrant caravan, “Donald Trump was right! This is an invasion.”

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Trump: I don’t know if Salman lied to me, skips question on weapons sales

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President Donald Trump isn’t really sure if Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had anything to do with the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace there had been several conversations with Salman over Khashoggi and the story hadn’t changed.

I don’t know, who can really know, but I can say this…he has many people now who say that he had no knowledge.

He told me that he had nothing to do with it. He told me that, I would say, maybe five times at different points…as recently as a few days ago.

Trump also noted it might be one of those situations where the truth will never come out on whether Salman was directly involved in ordering Khashoggi’s murder.

Will anyone really know? Will anyone really know? But he did have, certainly, people that were reasonably close to him and close to him that were probably involved. You saw we put on very heavy sanctions – massive sanctions on a large group of people from Saudi Arabia. But at the same time, we do have an ally and I want to stick with an ally that’s been very good.

The comment goes against the CIA notion Salman had some involvement in at least getting Khashoggi to the Saudi embassy in Turkey where he died. The President is probably right in his assessment – as even the CIA didn’t completely implicate Salman – but it won’t go over well with a lot of people who prefer presidents speak in definitive answers regarding international incidents.

One thing which isn’t questionable is the ridiculousness of suggesting there were “massive sanctions” on the Saudis. Yes, 17 people were sanctioned – but they’d already had their visas revoked. ABC News suggested the sanctions show the U.S. is taking what happened seriously but I’m not convinced it’ll mean anything because there are plenty of questions on whether sanctions actually hinder those they’re meant to hinder.

The more damning statement by Trump is his decision to avoid a question from Wallace on Saudi arms sales.

Wallace: So if Congress were to move to either cut off any U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen or to block any arms sales, you wouldn’t go along with it?

Trump: Well, I want to see Yemen end, but it takes two to tango. Iran has to end it also. And Iran is a very different country than when I took over. It’s far weakened because of what I did with the so-called Iran deal – Iran nuclear deal – which was one of the great ripoffs of all times. But I want Saudi to stop, but I want Iran to stop also.

This is a beyond ridiculous answer and shows the failure of the President to change any sort of foreign policy. Trump is just going along with the previous administration’s policy of being “arms seller in chief.” There is no reason for the U.S. government to be involved in arms sales – and I know it’s because there’s a federal law on the issue.

The logic of those who believe the U.S. government should control who gets American weapons is so they can pick what country gets what. But where is the accountability? How does the public hold the government accountable when it’s full of bureaucrats and so-called ‘policy experts’ who are the ones who actually make the decisions.

The Government Accountability Agency noted in 2016 the U.S. had consistently failed in following procedures (and U.S. law) when it came to arms sales to Egypt (emphasis mine).

The U.S. government completed human rights vetting for 5,581 Egyptian security forces before providing U.S.-funded training in fiscal year 2011 through March 31, 2015; however, our analysis of a sample of names from training rosters of Egyptian security forces who received U.S.-funded training shows that that the U.S. government did not complete all required vetting prior to providing training, in violation of State’s and DOD’s policies. In contrast to State’s vetting requirements for training, State’s policies and procedures encourage, but do not specifically require, vetting for foreign security forces that receive U.S.-funded equipment, including those in Egypt. The primary method State uses in Egypt to comply with Leahy law requirements when providing equipment is to attest in memos that State is in compliance with Leahy law requirements. Various factors have posed challenges to the U.S. government’s efforts to vet recipients of U.S. assistance. Gaps and uncertainties in information have made it challenging for U.S. officials to vet some cases before providing training. Additionally, State has not established procedures for clearing smaller units or individuals within a larger unit that has been deemed ineligible to receive assistance. Finally, Embassy Cairo has recorded little information on human rights abuses by Egyptian officials in INVEST since the beginning of fiscal year 2011, despite State requirements to do so.

This is why it shouldn’t be the U.S. government doing these arms sales, and why Trump’s refusal to answer Wallace’s question regarding Saudi arms sales is disappointing – and more of a story than his “who can really say” answer regarding Khashoggi. Congress needs to stop the arms sales and completely change U.S. policy.

It’s so much easier to hold private companies accountable for sales, especially when there’s no government protection barrier surrounding them. One would think a businessman elected to the presidency would realize this. Apparently not.

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ALL OF ORANGE COUNTY Turns Blue After Democrats Find Thousands of Votes Post Election Day

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Orange County, a traditionally conservative enclave in Southern California turned all blue after Democrats found tens of thousands of votes post election day.

Just two years ago in 2016, only 2 Congressional districts in Orange County voted blue–now just two years later every single district voted blue.

Democrat blue wave? More like Democrat election fraud.

The 39th district was officially called for Democrat Gil Cisneros over Republican Young Kim who was up by 3 points on election night and was set to be the first Korean-American Congresswoman. The Democrats stole this race with ‘late votes.’

Young Kim was up by 3,900 votes on election night with 100% of the precincts reporting according to AP and she ended up losing by 3,000 votes 11 days after the election.

Republican Congresswoman Mimi Walters in California’s 45th district was also ahead on election night then was magically defeated by Democrat Katie Porter several days after the election.

Democrat Katie Porter was trailing Mimi Walters on election night then jumped ahead by hundreds of votes after the Democrats produced thousands of ballots after the election.

There may be something more sinister happening in Orange County, California.


The Gateway Pundit spoke to two concerned voters in California’s 45th district who said when they went to vote, they were told they weren’t on the roster so they were given provisional ballots.

Two registered Republicans in California’s 45th district told this reporter that they have been voting for over 20 years in Orange County and what happened this midterm has never happened to them–EVER.

“I’ve been a registered Republican and an active voter for over 20 years and when I went to vote on election day, I was told that I wasn’t on the roster so I was given a provisional ballot,” a Republican voter told The Gateway Pundit.

Was this an isolated incident or is this more widespread?

One America News reporter Jack Posobiec spoke to a pollworker in California on election day.

The pollworker told Jack Posobiec, “I have received a very large amount of voters whose registration was changed to vote by mail without their consent and then not mailed their ballots. I’m allowing provisional voting. My registrar is giving me the runaround about this and just saying don’t worry. This is not my first election. I have not seen this problem before.”

The Drudge Report featured the story about the stunning losses in Orange County and the responses by concerned voters in Southern California raised eyebrows as well.

One woman who lives in Newport Beach in California’s 48th district said she hasn’t missed a vote in 43 years and was forced to fill out a provisional ballot on election day; her vote still hasn’t been counted.

“I was made to fill out provisional ballot after voting in the same precinct in OC consistently 20 years said I was mail in never have been My vote still has not been counted I check daily. Same with red friends. I’m ind. never missed a vote n 43 yrs,” tweeted a Newport Beach resident named Vanessa Butler.

Where the hell is the GOP??

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